A Comeback for Football

In 1952, efforts were once again made to start up a senior football league in Sudbury.  Former high school players were recruited to play on the Sudbury Hardrocks team, but once again, finding teams to play against proved near impossible as the only northern team to be found was located in New Liskeard.  Sudbury and New Liskeard held two exhibition games which constituted the first season of play.

Football game in progress.  Photo courtesy of "Homegrown Heroes: A Sports History of Sudbury".Sudbury Hardrocks executives decided to approach other northern towns about the possibility of establishing a senior league in the north.  In June of 1954, North Bay, Sudbury, the Tri-towns, and Kirkland Lake combined to create the new Northern Ontario Rugby Football Union (N.O.R.F.U.).  Executives of this new league decided to work on developing interest in the league rather than join the Ontario Rugby Football Union (an option they couldn't afford anyway).

The first season of the new N.O.R.F.U. was an interesting one as the North Bay RoughRiders secured financial backing from the Ottawa RoughRiders (a professional football club).  The Ottawa RoughRiders saw North Bay players as a source of good talent from which their team could draw in the future.  A similar arrangement was made by the Kirkland Lake Alouettes with the Montreal team of the same name.


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